Both Centre, states complicit in their inaction: Jairam Ramesh after SC observations on Delhi pollution

Both Centre, states complicit in their inaction: Jairam Ramesh after SC observations on Delhi pollution

New Delhi, Nov 7 (PTI) With the Supreme Court taking a stern view of the pollution situation in the national capital, former environment minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Tuesday said both the Centre and the states have been complicit in their 'inaction'.

Ramesh also urged the Supreme Court, in the same spirit, to intervene to reverse what he said was the 'weakening' of the National Green Tribunal by the Modi government.

Amid a spike in pollution levels in Delhi-NCR, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to ensure crop residue burning was stopped 'forthwith', saying it cannot let 'people die' due to pollution.

Taking a stern view of states trying to shift blame to one another for the pollution, the bench observed there cannot be 'political battle' all the time.

Reacting to the Supreme Court's observations, Ramesh said, 'The Supreme Court has had very strong words to say about the dangerous levels of air pollution in the nation's capital. But it is a crisis that affects entire north India, especially. Both the Centre and the states have been complicit in their inaction.' 'It would also be in the public interest if the Supreme Court in the same spirit intervenes to reverse the weakening of the National Green Tribunal by the Modi government,' the Congress general secretary in-charge communications said.

The NGT was created by Parliament in 2010, but since the past few years a systemtic effort has been made to render it ineffective, he alleged, adding that public health has as a consequence suffered.

The apex court's observations came a day after the Delhi government announced its decision to implement odd-even traffic restriction plan from November 13, a day after Diwali, when pollution levels are likely to shoot up even further While hearing a matter relating to the debilitating air pollution in the Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR), the top court's bench flagged issues like crop residue burning, vehicular pollution and burning of waste in the open. PTI ASK CK

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